Most people want to build their lives on the truth. Few would like to admit they live a lie. But the sneaky thing about deception is that when a person is deceived she doesn’t know it. The discovery of some deception removes the same.
However, someone can give mental assent to a fact, for instance of nature, science, or history, and yet fail to direct one’s life in proper agreement with the implications of those facts.
For instance, I can believe that smoking is harmful to my health and yet continue to smoke.
I can believe that gravity is a law of nature and yet fail to negotiate with it successfully.
Similarly, I can believe the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (yes, there were hundreds of documented eye-witnesses at the time), and yet fail to order my life by its profound implications.
The power and hope of the resurrection of Jesus waits for more than mental assent by believers. To experience the fullest benefits of Christ’s victory in this life, we must consider and embrace the glorious implications of His death and resurrection.
The “why” of His death and resurrection will always have more influence over us than the “what”.
Consider this amazing statement by the apostle Paul:
“…but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” (Romans 4:24-25 NASB)
Paul first states the “what”:
“…believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead…”
But he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to share the amazing implications:
“He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”
It’s not just the fact of the resurrection that has the power to change us. It’s the motives behind those actions, the very goals that God Himself had in mind when He purposed that Jesus would take our sin at the cross and rise again to declare our absolute forgiveness and victory now.
And here’s a truth a lot of sincere Christians may not have considered: it’s much more difficult to deeply believe and embrace the implications of Christ’s death and resurrection than it is to give assent to the fact that Jesus was raised. And this explains, at least in part, the widespread spiritual anemia and disillusionment that still captivates even God’s sincere children. A deeper look into the implications can be amazingly transformative.
We will look at some of those implications next time!